GAINESVILLE -- Fittingly, the last meaningful game of the Region 7-AAA soccer schedule went down to penalty kicks.
The contests between the top four teams have been air-tight all season, and so it proved again on on Wednesday, as West Hall held off North Hall in a penalty shootout.
The two teams traded second half goals before going into overtime at 1-1. Neither could manufacture the winner from open play, however, and the Spartans converted four penalties to the Trojans' two to clinch the victory.
The win yielded the No. 2 seed for West Hall (10-5-2, 6-1 Region 7-AAA), while North Hall (11-4-1, 4-3) finished fourth. (Dawson County won the region title, while Buford is third.)
The Spartans' Steve Rodriguez scored off of a deflection to knot the game in the second half after North Hall had taken the lead.
Riccardo Castruita, Jordan Moreno, Isaac Castruita and Sammy Coto stepped up and converted spot kicks in the shootout, while West Hall goalkeeper Cesar Villa saved one North Hall penalty, while another attempt missed wide.
The two teams await the first round of the state playoffs, which will begin on May 1 for Class AAA boys teams.
WEST HALL GIRLS 6,
NORTH HALL 0
Katie Forrester scored twice, while Katie Kirkland added one goal and five assists, as the Lady Spartans confirmed themselves as the No. 3 seed from Region 7-AAA.
Gabrielle Ligas also added a goal and an assist, and Kristen Newstrom also struck for West Hall (7-9-1, 5-3 Region 7-AAA). The other tally came on an own-goal for North Hall.
Kylie Beaman kept the shutout in goal with five saves.
"If the girls go into the playoffs playing the way they did today I think it will be the second time in the program's history we go on to the second round," Lady Spartans coach Adam Johnson said. "It's not guaranteed, but it's much more of a possibility playing like this."
The Lady Spartans will compete in the first round on May 2 against a team to be determined.
North Hall's season is now complete.